How To Recruit Staff – Part 2 – Sifting Through CVs

Check out Part 1 – Job Adverts HERE.

After you’ve put up your job advert and you’ve received a suitable number of applications, you will need to sieve through the applicants to choose who to interview. This could be a difficult process as there may be a significant number of excellent candidates, or alternatively a high number of poor quality ones.

We know what it feels like, you just want to find the right person as soon as you possibly can! But this can lead to rushing the process. When you do it right and spend quality time doing so, finding the right person will be easy.

Here’s a few tips on sifting through CVs:

  1. Application Forms.
  2. Elimination.
  3. Ranking.

Application Forms

When writing the job application (you can check out our tips on this HERE), creating your own Application Form could be really helpful when it comes to reviewing the best candidates for the role. By doing so you will be able to clearly see the candidates’ details, experience and skills. Another benefit of an Application Form is you will have the opportunity to ask the candidates pre-interview questions and start to narrow down the number of applicants. This will also help to get rid of unsuitable candidates as they will have to put more time and thought into applying for the role.


Top Tip

Avoid any questions that could be discriminatory, areas such as: age, gender, ethnicity, disability etc.



Elimination is the simplest way of getting rid of any unsuitable applicants. Start off by removing the candidates who don’t have all the requirements you have asked for such as: ‘2 years’ experience in Administration’ or ‘A full drivers licence’. You have asked for these requirements for a reason, so without them the person won’t be fully suitable for the role.

Next, eliminate the people who haven’t answered the questions in your application form, if they can’t be bothered to spend a few minutes of their time filling out a few questions, then it will be likely they will have the same attitude in the workplace.


With the remaining good quality applicants, rank them from the most relevant experience and qualifications to the least. You can then get in contact with the best people first and follow on to the others if you don’t find the right person.


Top Tip

Take your time! If you don’t feel you have found the right person for the role, then put the job advert back up! Finding the right person can take time but it will be more time consuming if you hire the wrong person!


If you need any help with the selection and interview process then get in touch with Devon HR consultants, Westcountry HR today!

This blog is a series so look out for Recruiting Employees Part 3 in the coming months…